Having become a little too used to the lack of Favre "Will he or won't he come back?" football coverage this season, it seemed perfectly appropriate that the former University of Southern Mississippi gunslinger would make a cameo this past weekend in the broadcast booth at one of his alma mater's home games, eventually capping off the short publicity tour with an appearance yesterday on 790 The Zone in Atlanta with Mike Morgan and Hans Heiserer.
Aside from talking about himself in third person and sympathizing with Peyton Manning's neck injury—though he does it with a tinge of relief, knowing his consecutive-games-played streak remains intact—Favre answers questions about his "first" year of retirement, the inevitable letdown from having only won a single Super Bowl, and his thoughts on Aaron Rodgers leading the Green Bay Packers to the Super Bowl last year.
Of course all the hubbub in the sports media world stems from his answer to the Rodgers question. Favre begins with, "I’m going to be honest, I was not surprised. The biggest surprise to me would be that he didn’t do it sooner," going on to tell Morgan that with the talent Rodgers has around him—talent Favre believes is better than what he was dealt—it's simply surprising the Super Bowl took so long.
Unsurprisingly, Favre comes off as something of a bitter curmudgeon throughout the interview, but it's how he consistently backs over his dismissive comments of Rodgers with weak, run-of-the-mill compliments that really stands out. His full answer is below (a big thanks to those diligent and masochistic enough to transcribe an entire radio interview):
I’m going to be honest, I was not surprised. The biggest surprise to me would be that he didn’t do it sooner. It’s funny how people can get over time, my last year in Green Bay prior to the first game, I made the remark that this was probably the most talented team that I’ve ever played on. And of course everyone looked up and was like ‘this guy’s off his rocker.’ We were very, very young; take me out of the mix and we were by far the youngest team in the league. But I could see the talent pool across the board was outstanding. Now our season kind of ended up being a reflection of that. We came close, and I think we took a lot of people by surprise, but guys emerged rather quickly. Aaron had a chance…even though the last couple years it’s seemed like he’s almost a rookie, he’s been around awhile. And I’d like to think that he watched, he learned, and then when he got a chance to play, he brought in his ability which is obviously very good or they wouldn’t have drafted him in the first round. He’s got tremendous talent, he’s very bright and he got a chance to watch and see successful teams do it right. And so he just kind of fell into a good situation. On top of that, he’s a good player. I don’t think anyone would question now the talent around him is even better than when I was there. So I’m really kind of surprised it took him so long. Really, the early part of last year season, it hadn’t quite clicked yet and I didn’t know if it would. I just kind of figured when they hit their stride, they’re going to be hard to beat. And that’s what happened.